Genesys hosts diabetes response dogs' demonstration - WNEM TV 5

Genesys hosts diabetes response dogs' demonstration

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Service dogs can be trained to help perform many tasks, according to experts at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc.

They can guide people who are blind, alert individuals who are deaf, pull wheelchairs, and protect a person having a seizure. Dogs also are trained to help people with diabetes.

The Genesys Diabetes and Nutrition Learning Center will conduct a support group meeting on Thursday, May 19 from 1:30 pm to 3 pm with a guest appearance by diabetic response dogs.

These dogs are trained to use their naturally superior sense of smell to identify and react to changes in a person's blood pressure chemistry that occur during rapid changes in blood sugar levels. The dogs can smell drops and increases in insulin levels in real time. When a diabetes patient experiences a high or low in insulin levels, the body releases chemicals that change the scent of secretions and liquids produced. Diabetic response dogs can smell these changes through the person's breath and skin. Some dogs have more than 200 million sensors that can detect individual scents.

The dogs are trained to notify the person of insulin level changes in very specific ways. For example, the response dogs may touch the person with their nose, sit and stare at the person, jump on him or place a certain toy in their mouth.

Properly trained dogs have an 85 percent to 90 percent accuracy rate to detect insulin level changes in any environment for which they are trained.

To sign up for the free support group meeting, call Genesys Diabetes and Nutrition Learning Center at 810.606.7720. The group meets every other month and is open to diabetes patients and their family members.

The meeting will take place at Genesys Athletic Club in Studio 3. The club is located on the campus of Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc Township.

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